The Department of Health has funded a £2 million competition through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) to encourage small businesses to work with Government to develop innovative smartphone apps that can help combat obesity and alcohol abuse.
Obesity and alcohol related diseases cost the NHS more than £8 billion annually, presenting a major public health challenge for society.
The 5 winning apps, all designed by small businesses to help people beat obesity and alcohol abuse, won a share of the £2 million innovation fund to develop their winning apps.
The 5 winners were:
- ‘Drink Coach’, developed by Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol
- ‘Don’tbottleitup’, developed by HAGA
- ‘The Walk’, developed by Six to Start Ltd
- ‘StepJockey’, developed by StepJocky Ltd
- Chimp Shop, developed by Attention Retaining Technologies Ltd
The apps were chosen for their innovative and imaginative approach to combating obesity and alcohol abuse and demonstrate how digital technology and smartphone apps can assist in alleviating some of the pressures the NHS faces. One winning app, ‘Drink Coach’, includes the ablility for the user to track their drinking over an evening and receive prompts if needed on their phone telling them to slow down.
Another winning app, The Walk, encourages players to walk 10,000 steps every day and features a storyline that is only completed if the user keeps walking. By setting incentives and goals and encouraging people to build in exercise opportunities in their everyday lives, the apps aim to help healthy living messages and practices become part of people’s daily routine.